Easy Feel Products is an up and coming manufacturer of ring slings, soft structured carriers, and accessories for the SSC. They are a family operation that includes design, quality assurance, and tailoring at the hands of the owner and her mother. Their goal is to make sure that everyone has a well made carrier that fits within the budget of a growing family that is comfortable, ergonomic, and affordable. The carriers meet and are tested to ASTM safety standards keeping comfort in mind but safety at the forefront of design.
“All the carriers are designed with lots of love and care by my own mom and her team of tailors. And thus the Easy Feel SSCs happened….designed under the grandma’s loving care and brought to you by a mom who understands the needs to urban mother in India”
We have been very pleased to help test the Easy Feel carrier as it was being updated for style and fit. Having passed ASTM certification the last items on the list before marketing to a larger audience was to hone the style and fit of the carrier.
We tested two Easy Feel Toddler SSCs, Pink Peaks and Gray Helix. The Pink Peaks carrier featured a variation on the Ikat design. The design is seen throughout India and Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia. The word Ikat translates to knotted or bound which is part of the technique in the resist dyeing in which two strands of yarn are tied by a third strand to create a unique pattern prior to weaving. Traditionally performed by women, it is considered taboo in some cultures for men to be present or perform the dyeing process. Ikats are seen throughout many traditions including South America, Central America, and Mexico in addition to Indonesia where it is believed to originate. Often represented as geometric designs that have the appearance of uniformity although abstract patterns. The design is seen in the rising colors of the peaks where small variations in the colors can be noted. The same pattern can be seen in the Gray Helix design in which the geometric triangles line the panel and small variations from navy blue to white are seen. Pink Peaks features vibrant transition of color from yellow to burgundy, magenta, and pink.
My standards on an SSC begin with safety followed closely by comfort with beauty coming in a very distant third. I appreciate the time and effort that goes into the design of an SSC. Having sewn a few myself I can see places where cutting corners and skipping steps can very easily end in the injury of wearer, child, or both. I admire that Easy Feel has taken the time to focus on the safety of their carrier and made it a priority to exceed the ASTM standards for safety. Simple features like waistband buckles having a snug safety elastic to prevent injury should a buckle accidentally release are standard on the Easy Feel. Extra lines of stitching as well as X-box stitching reinforce weight-bearing seams. Convenience features include a stowable hood is sewn in to a pouch at the top of the body panel. Generous one inch legs out padding for baby and seat darts ensure baby’s comfort. The personal fit adapters (PFA) allowing fine adjustment of carrier fit for all body shapes, giving an extra three and a half inches of adjustment for both taller wearers and the more petite.
The contoured waistband is well structured using a firmer compressed padding that seems to mold to the waist of the wearer. Expandable from as narrow as 27 inches up to 55 inch waists. The legs out padding is thicker than we have previously worn but much softer than previous carriers. This means it does not put undue stress on the bend of baby’s knee but instead adds an extra pillowy softness where the carrier comes in contact with the knee. The shoulder harness is thick but plush, padded with almost two inch thick moldable foam.
As with many SSCs, the adjusters on the shoulder harness of the Easy Feel SSC adjust away from the wearer. If baby is in a front carry the adjuster pulls back, away from the body of the wearer. The same is true of the PFA which also pulls back, away from the wearer so they should be adjusted prior to wearing baby. The seat is a comfortable 17 inches wide, a great knee to knee fit for a toddler entering the 3T clothing range. The body panel is contoured, forming to the shape of baby’s body giving a little more enclosed feeling than other SSCs in the toddler to preschool size. The hood design is similar to others we have tested, the tucking into the body panel was the difference between having to search for a detachable hood that got separated in the wash and knowing the hood was present when it was needed. Secured to D-Ring loops on the shoulder straps with matching cloth ties, the hood can be used as extra head support for a sleeping toddler or sun cover as needed.
As with any soft structured carrier, it is important to make sure your baby can sit unassisted so that they can reposition their heads and protect their airway from suffocation. This is a suggestion for best practices, recommended by all professional babywearing schools, Babywearing International, and carrier manufacturers. It is also important to make sure the carriers you purchase have met or exceed safety standards for the regulatory agencies in that country. The carrier is compliant with the new Consumer Product and Safety Commission and ASTM compliance standard F2236. Easy Feel is proud to have passed and been certified compliant with the ASTM F2236 standard.
What I loved about this carrier
I am impressed by the quality of the Easy Feel SSC for the very budget friendly price. The carriers sell for $89 for the standard size and $104 for the toddler sizes including shipping. This means a family with a single income, restricted budget, or other limitations of finance can have a high quality carrier with all the features of the more expensive name brands and at a price that won’t destroy your budget. The carrier exceeds all the current safety standards which is of utmost importance. Comfort features are stellar. The waistband is six inches wide, contoured to fit the waist. The waistband easily fit flush, and tight enough that I didn’t have to be concerned with it drooping or sagging in the front under the weight of my girls. The extended webbing on the shoulder harness meant I could wear it with comfort as could the twins father who is at least a foot taller and slimmer in the waist. The body panel fit the ladies to the top of their shoulders. Favoring arms in more times than arms out, they could sneak down into the carrier and hide from the eyes of passersby.
Curved shoulder straps meant a contoured fit that naturally followed the curvature of the shoulder. The ability for both parents to wear the girls in the same carrier was definitely a bonus. The shoulder straps are well padded, with a closed cell foam that bounces back to it’s original shape and molds well to the contour of the shoulder. We were able to wear the carriers in tandem with comfort and not bulky at all. We took many walks and carried sleeping babies back to the house without extra pressure on the shoulders or hips.
The webbing on the carrier is extra grippy, a suggestion from the ASTM rules but has been shown to soften and glide more with wear. This came as an added safety feature in which the buckles definitely stayed in place, the buckle combs catching within the grooves of the webbing. This meant as we moved, or even danced around the house or on a walk, the waistband stayed in place, without moving and never dipped or sagged where weight was applied from the girls. On many SSCs I experience pain in my hips, slight as they are, in an attempt to support the weight of my babies. I did not experience this with the Easy Feel SSC, it was comfortably set, allowed me to place much of baby’s weight on my upper back. The little pocket was perfect storage for my keys to the house and a debit card for a treat while out on our walk.
What I am looking forward to seeing in the next release
The only improvement I ever have for any SSC, especially a toddler SSC, is to have the shoulder harness adjust pull away from the body of the wearer to the front rather than toward the back. The angle backward is difficult on the wrist and often provides a tricky angle to achieve maximum tightening. When pulled forward this would allow much more even tightening of the carrier straps and even permit PFA tightening or loosening while wearing to get the best possible fit in a back carry.
Babywearing, cloth diapering, breastfeeding twin Momma sharing my insights.